Logitech MX Mechanical: decent keyboard but eye-popping price tag

In the competitive keyboard space, the very competent MX Mechanical needs more features or a lower price.

by Justin Choo
Logitech MX Mechanical in front of a monitor

The Logitech Master Series MX Mechanical Keyboard is a low-profile mechanical keyboard with all the software perks you would expect from a peripherals giant like Logitech.

The MX Mechanical is available in both a full-size and 75 per cent form factor,  also known as the Mini. The regular-sized MX Mechanical is the 108-key version of a full-sized board, with three of those keys dedicated solely to switching between connected devices.

The MX Mechanical can wirelessly connect up to three devices via Bluetooth, including one connected via a USB receiver (Bolt) for a dedicated wireless channel. The receiver can connect up to six compatible Logitech devices like the MX Master 3S, which helps to save one USB port on your computer.  which saves you plenty of ports if you tend to use a lot of (Logitech) wireless peripherals.

Not going to lie; given how keyboard options have somewhat exploded given the popularity of the enthusiast market, one of the main reasons why anyone would buy this keyboard is for Logi Options+ and its features. Some people might prefer to keep it simple and not have to pay for the software, others might enjoy the conveniences that the software brings. The MX Mechanical tries to balance both, but I think that the software aspect is its stronger suit.

But for starters, it doesn’t look half bad; the two-tone colours of the keyboard are easy on the eye and some might say somewhat a little too safe. But it certainly is appealing and is distinctly a Logitech design.

Like most low-profile pre-built keyboards, Logitech incorporated the mounting plate for the switches into the outer frame of the keyboard housing. The plate is made of brushed aluminium, which is bevelled along the edges for comfort, and polished for a subtle yet elegant look. More importantly, it is rigid and there’s no annoying creaking when you lean into it. Logitech uses a plastic bottom to save weight (and cost, I would think), and it still remains rigid and stable. Tapping along the back of the keyboard, only a couple of small spots reveal a sense of hollowness.

As much as I prefer an all-metal housing, that would probably be the dumbest idea to implement here if the MX Mechanical is supposed to maintain some semblance of portability. As it is, the keyboard weighs 612g, which is pretty decent given its size. I don’t mind not having something featherweight if it is as stable as this is. And it’s just about heavy enough to stay planted on the desk.

image showing the two angles available on the logitech mx mechanical

The two typing angles available.

Ergonomics is where this keyboard is at. The low-profile MX Mechanical has a typing angle of roughly 4 degrees, which makes it very comfortable for long hours of typing. If you find it uncomfortably flat then not to worry. Just flip it over and engage the adjustable feet, which steepens the angle to about 8 degrees.

If you’re coming over from laptop keyboards, the MX Mechanical will certainly feel more comfortable. For those using a standard mechanical keyboard and are used to its 4mm travel, the shorter 3mm travel might take some getting used to. They’ve kept the pitch (width of the keys) standard though, so your fingers don’t feel constricted.

And because the switches (they seem to be Kailh Choc V2s) are of the low-profile variety, the travel and the feel are quite different from their full-sized, Cherry MX derivative versions. They aren’t hot-swappable, so it’s best if you are able to try it out at a store before committing. What you can change on your own are the keycaps, and you can use standard keycaps designed to fit Cherry MX derivative switches. Basically, you have (slightly) more options. But having hotswap switches would have been best.

image of logitech mx mechanical with various keycaps

You have the option of using other keycaps to tweak the look and feel.

Logitech offers three different variations – namely red for linear, brown for tactile, and blue for clicky. As a rough guide, if you want the action to be smooth, linear is the way to go. The trope here is that gamers tend to prefer linear switches, while typists prefer some degree of feedback or pushback (tactility). In which case, the browns are perfect as they offer slightly more resistance before the switches actuate, thus giving you more confidence when typing quickly.

And if you want to drive people nuts or you like to show passive aggressiveness at the office by stabbing away at the backspace key after an unpleasant confrontation then the blue switches have got you covered, fam. Clickety-click-click-click-click ad Infinitum. Sheer devilish goodness.

The typing experience is OK; the reality is that MX Mechanical is not very different from any other keyboard that uses low-profile switches. The tactile bump on the browns is fairly subtle and there are no harsh sounds when bottoming out the keys. I did have one complaint, which I thought was unbecoming of a $299 keyboard–the spacebar was rattly as the stabiliser wire was knocking against its housing when you depress the spacebar. I was depressed; it was very distracting, to say the least.

You might be thinking that I’m doing that annoying thing that keyboard snobs do and judging the MX Mechanical on custom mechanical keyboard standards and you’d be… half-right. The fact is that there are cheaper keyboards like the Nuphy 75 that have stabilisers that are well set up with minimal ticking and they never sound annoying. And then you realise the MX Mechanical costs twice as much. [eyebrow twitching intensifies]

image of logitech mx mechanical on wooden table

The MX Mechanical almost looks razer thin, but it provides a proper typing experience.

To be fair, it can happen to any pre-built keyboard and could be the result of rough shipping. Fortunately for users, the fix is simple – add lubricant. And there are many guides on the internet showing how you can do that. In the end, it’s merely an inconvenience.

One thing that prebuilt keyboards like this do very well: backlighting. The keys are backlit and controlled by an ambient light sensor, and offer some variety in terms of lighting patterns. No glaring RGB light show to see here, just more subdued hues of cool white. Thanks to a proximity sensor, the backlight can turn off when the keyboard is left unattended and turn on again when the sensor detects your hands hovering above it. Really smart.

But, the main reason why you would pick up a Logitech keyboard like this is for its wireless capabilities and its software integration. That’s not to say that the custom mechanical keyboard world doesn’t have wireless keyboards; it’s just that they are laughably rudimentary in comparison. In this respect, the MX Mechanical runs circles even around custom boards that are far, far more expensive.

image of logi options menu for logitech mx mechanical

You can configure keys–but only of some of them.

Probably the most underrated feature here is the ability to switch between Windows and Mac computers without having to remap keys. However, if you do wish to remap keys, you can do it with the Logi Options+ software. The caveat is that it is limited to the F-row keys, the navigation cluster keys and that row of keys 99% of the human population doesn’t use–Scroll Lock and those other keys you need to look at to recall what they are called. Oh wait, they used icons here.  Bummer.

The keyboard can also be used in a multi-computer setup in Flow, allowing you to transition from one computer to another as you move your mouse pointer from one display to the next as though they were extended screens (see our MX Master 3S review).

The battery life for the MX Mechanical is pretty decent even with the backlight on, averaging two weeks with moderate to heavy use. With the backlight off I’m not able to exhaust the battery as of yet, but Logitech says it will last up to 10 months.

As decent as the keyboard is, I still find the price tag a little on the high side. It’s a bit cheaper overseas (US$167 or approx. SGD$230) if you are able to find a way to save on shipping. For the asking price, you can get plenty of fancy alternatives that aren’t as technically advanced, but look and feel premium, like the aforementioned Nuphy 75. You can even get a fancy custom mechanical keyboard with Bluetooth connectivity with fully configurable keys like an ikki68 Aurora. Unlike the MX Master 3S, which doesn’t need software enhancements to be a great mouse, the MX Mechanical hasn’t got many USPs other than multi-OS compatibility. Its many perks fall under the ‘nice-to-have’ category.

The way I see it, this keyboard makes sense if you buy into that ecosystem and intend to make full use of its software capabilities, which few, if any, competitors can offer. Otherwise, look elsewhere unless you really like the look and feel of this keyboard and don’t mind the price. At the end of the day. This is something you type on every day, and comfort is ultimately the one factor you should prioritise above others.

Price $299

Connectivity Bluetooth or Logi BoltBattery 1500 mAh Li-Po, up to 15 days or up to 10 months with backlighting off

Dimensions 26.10 x 433.85 x 131.55 mm, including keycaps
Weight 828 g
Optional software Logi Options+ and Logitech Flow

  • 6.9/10
    Logitech MX Mechanical - 6.9/10
6.9/10

Logitech MX Mechanical

Features ✅✅✅✅✅✅✅☐☐☐
Value Proposition  ✅✅✅✅✅✅☐☐☐☐
Performance  ✅✅✅✅✅✅✅☐☐☐
Design & Build Quality  ✅✅✅✅✅✅✅½☐☐

A handsome keyboard with non-essential but thoughtful quality of life touches. The price is its only major flaw, as there are plenty of alternatives that accomplish the same but without the little perks.

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